Social Networking in a Downturn…

My esteemed colleague Susan Scrupski had a great post the other day entitled “The trouble with social media is, well, people” where she captured something quite important.  It has always been clear that social networking can be both a positive and negative force – but Susan nicely connected the potential and impact of social media to global mindsets, and how our attitudes to social networking (and ways to use it) might shift in a recession.

As Susan says, “Social media was great when it ran on positive mental attitude and a go-go economy, but now that people (the stuff networks are made of) are acting like humans, well, harrumph, it’s time to re-examine this social media phenomenon, eh?”

My take on this is that ultimately, you have to believe that increased transparency is positive – though there will be a period while companies and individuals adjust to the facts that:

  • Anyone can say just about anything – whether you like it or not!
  • Anything you do say (or is said about you), anywhere on the web, might come back to haunt you!
  • Expect a free flowing and open dialog – now how are you going to (a) live with it, and (b) take advantage of it?

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